Fake Transformation claims (before and after pictures)

weight loss before and after fake transformationNever understood why people believe the common ”before and after” pics they see on fitness blogs, commercial ads and supplement ads. Lose 40 pounds in 3 months!! Yeah right buddy. It’s so freakin’ OBVIOUS the transformation pictures are either :

  • Fake
  • Over-exagerated
  • Both
  • Not even the same person

Also read : Worst broscience you’ve heard in a gym, Dumb thing you did when you started bodybuilding.

Common tricks used to make weight-loss, get ripped fast claims :


-Poor lighting in the ”before” picture versus good lighting in the ”after” pic

Yep, see that picture in the top right. Very little lightning to make sure there is no emphasis put on any ”potential” muscle the person could already have. In the picture following his transformation you can clearly see the guy has put some favorable lightning to show his newly acquired muscles.

-Pale skin, no tan vs tanned skin in the ”after” picture

Of course, it’s always better to take the fat picture during winter when you don’t even remember what the sun looks like. Then come back later a nice tan you got at the salon to show those ripped abs you’ve got!

- Training hard before the gym

training before picture veins popped outWho wouldn’t have thought of that one. Right before taking that fake pic, make sure you hit the gym hard and get that nice little pump in your upper body musles. You will look more musclar and jacked. Bonus points if the veins are popping, more vascular is better! Here’s a video of Arnold talking about the pump





- Photoshopping the ”after” picture

It’s actually pretty easy to edit the after picture using photoshop. Make the waist a little thinner, a few inches no more and here you go the famous ”V shape” is right there in front of your eyes. And it was much easier than doing those ab crunches in the gym. Any amateur can do this and make it almost unnoticeable to the untrained eye.


- Eating like a pig and bloating your belly right in the before picture

guy protuding his gut as fake pictureEasiest thing in the world. Grab your favorite potato chips,  2 liters of carbonated soft drink and add some bread if possible. Guaranteed bloated stomach!

Some of use have been gifted with the ability to intentionally protrude our bellies and look 8 months pregnant, which comes handy for taking that picture.

Conclusion : it’s pretty easy to fake a transformation before-and-after picture so be aware of products and supplements that claim to make you lose 40 pounds in 3 months. The process will be either unhealthy or not work at all. Don’t believe me ? Check out this article about Furious Pete who shot the pictures in a 5 hour time span and looked like he lost 20 pounds of fat.


Related topics :

25 funniest things in the gym


  1. rnold says

    My understanding is that, for the most part, they take athletes/models who have been injured and need to rest up. They can’t work out or maintain their bodies, so they gain a bit of weight, lose a bit of muscles. At the end of the period, they sign up for one of these infomercials, and take their before photos. They start to train to get back into shape, and then take their after photos.

    Because they have done the work out before, its relatively easier to get back into shape then it is to work your way into that shape the first time.

  2. Frank says

    the above comment is correct. My gym recently did a print ad for a Sunday paper insert featuring a member who worked out into her eighth month of pregnancy, then returned after the baby was born. Her before/after pics were dramatic, mainly because she started with very slack abdominals that whipped back into shape in a very short period of time. The circumstances were not explained, just the results shown, and it grabs people. Camera angles/lighting are a big key in these pics. Also, black and white photos are more dramatic, especially on a “before” body, as every contour, wrinkle, dimple is accentuated…bellybuttons look larger and deeper, etc. It is, however, something that motivates people to do something, and get started, and that in itself is a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>